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Georgetown U. student busted by FBI for producing, possessing ricin in dorm room

A 19-year-old Georgetown University student, Daniel Harry Milzman, of Bethesda, Md. was arrested last week by the FBI and charged in federal court on March 21 with the production and possession of the deadly toxic agent ricin. The ricin was discovered in his dorm room, after Milzman showed a bag of the lethal substance to his dorm advisor.

Although enough of the deadly toxin was produced that could have potentially killed someone, the FBI doesn’t think the incident was terrorism related.    Georgetown’s historic Healy Hall/wikipedia
Georgetown’s historic Healy Hall overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. / wikipedia

Milzman will be facing “federal charges for possession of more than 120 milligrams of the poison,” according to The Washington Post.

McCarthy Hall, the dorm where Milzman produced and stored the ricin, was evacuated, but later deemed safe.

University officials said tests did not find the toxin in any other part of the dorm, which houses about 290 students. The school hired contractors to clean the sixth-floor dorm room where the ricin was found. McCarthy Hall has since reopened.

Milzman will be back in court on Tuesday for a detention hearing.

According to the FBI affidavit, Milzman said he made the ricin last month in his dorm room from commonly available materials he purchased locally from stores that included Home Depot. CNN shared that Milzman also said that he got the instructions for making the ricin through his iPhone.

“Based on our investigation, we do not believe there is any connection to terrorism,” said Andrew Ames, a spokesman for the FBI’s Washington Field Office. He declined to discuss Milzman’s motivation for possessing the toxin.

Court papers also state that Milzman wore goggles and a dust mask when producing the ricin in his dorm room, and “stored the toxin in plastic bags secured with hockey tape.”

The stash of ricin produced and stored in his dorm room “possibly could have been enough to kill someone had it been inhaled or injected,” according to the FBI affidavit.

Georgetown released a statement on Friday saying that Milzman “will not be permitted to return to campus at this time.”

For more on Milzman's arrest for possessing ricin, see the video accompanying this article.

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